The travel restriction map of Europe is becoming a calming sea of ​​green


The 25 European nations with no travel restrictions

  1. Albanian
  2. Bulgaria
  3. croatian
  4. Czech Republic
  5. denmark
  6. Estonia
  7. Greece
  8. Hungary
  9. Iceland
  10. Ireland
  11. Kosovo
  12. latvia
  13. Liechtenstein
  14. Lithuanian
  15. moldova
  16. Montenegrin
  17. North Macedonia
  18. Norway
  19. Poland
  20. Romanian
  21. Serbian
  22. Slovenian
  23. Sweden
  24. Switzerland
  25. United Kingdom

The above list vindicates the experts Telegraph Travel spoke to back in January. “Many countries will follow the UK and abandon travel rules in the coming weeks as they learn to live with Covid. For once the industry has much to be positive about,” said Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency, at the time.

Prof. Francois Balloux, director of the UCL Genetics Institute, said “more liberal governments like Sweden and Switzerland” would be among the first to “turn the page”, adding: “In some southern European countries, such as Italy and Spain, I think they have been so traumatized over the last two years that it might take longer to get back to normal. Also, the Covid debate is not as open in these countries; there has been little but blanket support for extreme restrictions, particularly in the media.”

David Livermore, Professor of Medical Microbiology at UEA, predicted: “Europe will be patchy, not least because of how far some countries have gone – however pointlessly – down the path of internal vaccine mandates and passports. Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, plus Portugal, will open early, but France, Italy and Austria will be late.”

With very few exceptions, all have been proven correct.

Beyond Europe, a few countries have scrapped every travel barrier, including Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Cuba and the Maldivesbut the rest of the world is largely playing catch-up.

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Which European countries still have travel rules?

Unvaccinated arrivals prohibited:

  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • netherlands
  • Slovakia (although entry is permitted via neighboring countries)
  • Spain

Surprisingly – given its reliance on overseas visitors – Spain remains one of the strictest countries in terms of entry requirements, with all unvaccinated or (if their second dose was more than 270 days ago) unboosted adults banned. This cohort is certainly not insignificant, and likely includes more than 10 million Britons. Last month it seemed as if this rule had been lifted, when the Spanish Tourist Office issued a press release stating that proof of a negative test would be accepted in lieu of vaccination, but this was rescinded just hours later.

Tests for unvaccinated arrivals:

  • Austria
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Cyprus
  • France
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • malt
  • Portugal
  • Turkey

No country in Europe asks vaccinated travelers to take a Covid test. However, several demand proof of a recent negative test from unjabbed visitors including holiday favorites France, Italy, Portugal and Turkey.

As for the rest of the world, restrictions remain the rule, rather than the exception. Indeed, 10 countries – China, Japan, Taiwan, Myanmar, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Samoa (until August or September), Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu – are still closed to all tourists, regardless of vaccination status.

Elsewhere, testing is widespread, whether for unvaccinated arrivals (eg Dubai, Egypt, India, Tunisia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Brazil) or for all (eg Australia, New Zealand, Morocco, US, South Africa, Tanzania, Vietnam). Furthermore, a large number (eg Australia, New Zealand, Morocco, US, Canada) ban unjabbed visitors entirely.

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The mask is slipping

If testing for unvaccinated arrivals is the last bastion of border rules, then domestically it seems the face mask will be the final relic of Covid times. Yet, after two years of hidden faces and muffled conversations, rules around face coverings are also being discarded across Europe.

No masks whatsoever*

  • Bulgaria
  • croatian
  • Czech Republic
  • denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romanian
  • Slovenian
  • Sweden

What is it about the Nordic nations? All have been reluctant to restrict their citizens’ freedoms for the duration of the pandemic – with Sweden famously eschewing lockdowns altogether and its neighbors only shutting down society for a brief period – and all five now have scrapped masks.

Beyond Europe, only a handful of destinations have ditched the divisive garment, including Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Maldives and the US.

*With the possible exception of hospitals and care homes.

Masks only on public transport**

Beyond healthcare facilities, it seems that trains, plans and buses will be the final settings where masks still roam. France and Spain are among the countries retaining their use on public transport.

  • Belgium
  • France
  • latvia
  • Lithuanian
  • Montenegrin
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Switzerland

**As well as hospitals and care homes.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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